I wanted to touch on some common terms in the Monger Travels Guide to Photography. I hammered home the basics with regards to common camera control terms but this covers the rest of them that you often hear and may not understand.
Stabilization – I covered this in camera systems but its a common feature in most compact cameras and you need to understand it. Stabilization is the camera knowing you are making slight movements when you take the picture. It compensates for this allowing you to take a clean image. It also allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds in darker lighting situations. Its rather nice and handy to have and allows you to get away with shooting your hooker of the moment in shit light.
RAW – Not all cameras shoot RAW. Usually this is a feature in higher end cameras starting with the enthusiast compact and going up from there. RAW format is an uncompressed image taken from the camera. Its not really a .raw file, instead its usually some type of file name that the manufacturer made up that brands it. This is the image as the camera took it and allows you to fully manipulate it within image processing software and you need high end software to read these files. Camera makers ship crap software that you can use to edit the files and maximize the most out of them but you really want something like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or something similar. This is basically the raw data captured by the sensor at the moment that isn’t compressed into a JPEG format allowing you a wider range of options when editing a photo. Most of the really stunning images you have seen ever are show in RAW because the photographer has all the data of the image to work with.
JPEG – Is a common image format but you need to know one thing about JPEG in that it is compressed and not all the data that the sensor captured. Its what the camera interrupted to be. You can still do a lot of editing with a jpeg but because its compressed you are hampered to some extent because of the compression on the file. In a camera there are multiple JPEG file storage options with Fine/Large/Medium. This adjusts the file size down of the image. Since you are already working with a compressed image keep it at the highest quality so if you do want to make some edits you can. The difference in size is minimal at best and with memory cards being cheap there really isn’t a reason to compress them down.
SD CARD – This is the fancy term for the memory card you buy. On all of them you see a Class number with 10 being the highest class. I’m not going to tell you what to buy but you if you want to shoot your hooker blowing you be it still images or video you are going to want a Class 10 card. This is the fastest write speed which is 30 megabytes a second. For video its a must and for rapid firing images as well. The cost difference is like $5 or $10 and its worth the money to get the Class 10 card.
FPS – Frames per second is exactly that. How many shots can you take in a second. Most cameras have a low number in the compact space with moving up to 10 to 15 FPS on the higher end cameras. Unless you are shooting action type stuff it doesn’t matter but if you are then you want a high FPS. Remember the Class on the SD Cards? Well if you have a slow Class your memory is going to be too slow to write the images and your camera gives you a big fuck you and you aren’t shooting anymore until it finishes writing.
That covers the most obvious and I’m already pushing my luck with this string of posts so I’ll wrap it up.